Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Ninth Amendment from a Christian Viewpoint

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The Ninth Amendment is one of the 'catch-alls' that the Founding Fathers put in to the Constitution. In other words, it says, that these rights listed here are not the only rights retained by the people. The fact that some of these rights are listed does not preclude the possibility that other rights exist. The rights listed herein are not meant to deny or replace the rights already being held by the people.

This is the foundational difference between liberals or progressives and conservatives. Liberals believe that the Constitution is a list empowering the government. Conservatives believe it is a list limiting the power of the government. Over and over in these first ten and in many of the amendments to follow, you will see that the emphasis is on the rights of the people, the rights of the citizens of the United States.

This 'catch-all' is just another illustration. The rights to free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, to be safe in one's home even from the armed forces, the right to private property, to a fair trial by jury all of these are important, but this was in case there was one right that had been forgotten or looked over by the other amendments, the ninth one was to ensure that any other conceivable right of the people not listed would be as protected as all the others.

God desires freedom for His people. All throughout Scripture the word 'free' is used 186 times. That's more times than money and more times than the words Satan and Devil combined. When God punished His people as a nation, it was their freedom that he took away from them. It was only when they returned to Him that He would raise up a deliverer and free them.

Over a period of 400 years in the book of Judges there was a continuous cycle of the people turning from God to idolatry, God turning away His protection from them, their enslavement and suffering until they repented and turned to Him. Then, they would be delivered by the hands of a leader appointed by God and enjoy freedom again. The leader would die during a period of prosperity, and the cycle would begin again.

The Founding Fathers used the Scriptures to frame the government of this Country. Established on His principles, our country has always stood for Freedom. It was the Declaration of Independence that inspired the French Revolution. It was the American example that encouraged other nations established by dictatorial monarchies to throw off their chains and become independent.

When the Apostle Paul strolled through Athens and noted the many idols dedicated to this god or that god, he pointed out the one idol, built by a superstitious people who wanted to make sure that they didn't leave a god out of the mix in their worship. He pointed at this 'idol to the unknown god' and said to them, I am here to explain this god to you.

This amendment is the 'protection' to the unknown 'right' not listed elsewhere. Just another example of how seriously our Founding Fathers took the concept of Freedom.

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